Iran TerrorismIran rejects fresh Argentine call for bombing trial

Iran rejects fresh Argentine call for bombing trial

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Reuters: Iran has rejected an Argentine proposal to nominate a third country to host a trial of Iranian officials accused by Buenos Aires of masterminding a Jewish center bombing that killed 85 people.

Iran's defense minister Ahmad VahidiBUENOS AIRES, Oct 18 (Reuters) – Iran has rejected an Argentine proposal to nominate a third country to host a trial of Iranian officials accused by Buenos Aires of masterminding a Jewish center bombing that killed 85 people.

Argentina is seeking the arrest of senior government officials over the 1994 attack, in which a truck laden with explosives leveled the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) building. Iran has repeatedly denied any links to the attack.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, addressing the United Nations General Assembly last month, suggested Tehran should choose a third country “by common agreement … where due process is guaranteed.”

In a letter to the General Assembly dated Sept. 28, Tehran’s permanent representative to the United Nations rejected Fernandez’s proposal, saying “any request for judicial cooperation is untenable.”

The letter, published by Argentine media on Monday, said “the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has made sure no Iranian citizen was involved, directly or indirectly, in the AMIA explosion.”

Prosecutor Alberto Nisman told Reuters in an interview this month Fernandez’s proposal to stage a trial on neutral ground could help advance the deadlocked case and put pressure on Tehran to respond.

Iran’s defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, is among the officials accused by Argentine prosecutors of being behind the bombing. (Reporting by Helen Popper; Editing Todd Eastham; Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau at the United Nations)

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